Fleet Old Church was destroyed in the storm but the chancel was retained.

The Great Storm of 1824 (or Great Gale) was a hurricane force wind and storm surge that affected the south coast of England from 22 November 1824.[1] Nearly 100 people were believed to be killed.[2]

At Sidmouth, low-lying houses along the Esplanade were inundated, and cottages at the exposed west end were destroyed. The 40 feet (12 m) sea-stack at Chit Rock was destroyed.[3]

It destroyed the esplanade at Weymouth; it broke across Chesil Beach and the Fleet Lagoon, almost destroying the villages of Fleet and Chiswell.[4][5] Many buildings in Melcombe Regis were destroyed.[6]

In Lyme Regis it topped the Cobb, and destroyed about 90m of its length.[1] The According to the boo Heroine of Lyme Regis by Harriot Forde the house and fossil shop belonging to Mary Anning was flooded.[7]

The ferry between the Isle of Portland and the mainland was washed away.[5] Though coastal communities bore the brunt of the storm, inland areas were also damaged including Dorchester.[8]

The quays at Weymouth were overcome and most properties on the seafront and much of the lower part of the town were flooded by the deluge. The pier at the entrance of the harbour also sustained considerable damage, whilst boats and vessels were carried into the streets by the waves, where they drifted helplessly.[9]

2024 marks the bicentennial anniversary of the storm, and will be marked by events held in the area.[10]


  1. ^ a b Thea Hawksworth (2016). "Lyme's History in Objects" (PDF). Lyme Regis Museum. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-02-18. Retrieved 2016-09-11.
  2. ^ "Looking back: The Great Gale of 1824". Bridport and Lyme Regis News. 2017-12-05. Retrieved 2024-02-03.
  3. ^ West, Ian (2 June 2017). "Geology of Sidmouth and Ladram Bay, Devon". University of Southampton. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Fleet". Archived from the original on 2016-10-07. Retrieved 2016-09-11.
  5. ^ a b "The Great Gale of 1824". Archived from the original on 2017-02-04. Retrieved 2016-09-11.
  6. ^ "When Weymouth seafront was destroyed by Great Gale of 1824". Dorset Echo. 2018-09-04. Retrieved 2024-02-03.
  7. ^ Taylor, Michael A (2020). "Mary Anning of Lyme Regis, and the Great Storm of 1824". National Museums Scotland.
  8. ^ "When a tsunami-like surge washed away the ferry to Portland and killed more than 100 people". Dorset Echo. 2017-11-21. Retrieved 2024-02-03.
  9. ^ "The Great Gale of 1824". Dorset Life. 2013. Retrieved 2016-09-11.
  10. ^ "Show staged ahead of anniversary of catastrophic weather event". Dorset Echo. 2023-10-06. Retrieved 2024-02-03.